Retailer Ted Baker reported a 0.2% loss in Group revenue over the last quarter, as wholesale sales slowed and the retail environment remained challenging. The lifestyle brand saw retail sales (which includes online), rise by 2.3%, while online sales alone increased 18% in the 16-week period from 11 August to 1 December. The online sales represented 30.3% of the total retail sales for the period, a 4 percentage point increase on last year. As weather became more typical for the season in the last eight weeks of the period, retail sales grew 8%. However, as expected, wholesale sales fell by 6.5% due to the earlier timing of wholesale deliveries in the the first half. The retailer continued to expect "mid to high" single-digit sales growth for the full year. It has been a tough year for bricks-and-mortar retailers with unseasonal weather in the UK, Europe and US East Coast dampening trade at the start of the period and UK trading impacted by the challenges facing Ted Baker's trading partners, such as House of Fraser. The company also announced it had appointed law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to investigate the reports regarding claims against its CEO Ray Kelvin relating to his hugging of colleagues.
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